Illustration by Julien Tromeur

We’ve all been there: in the middle of a seriously stellar sweat session, and BOOM! A muscle cramp attacks. Whether you’re plagued by charley horses or a pesky stitch in your side, here are a few preventive measures.

  • Stay hydrated. Studies conflict on whether H2O is the answer, but fending off dehydration could help — and it certainly won’t hurt.
  • Get those vitamins. Whether you get ’em through sports drinks, bananas, or a multivitamin, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins B, D, and E could all help fight cramps.
  • Jump around. Workouts involving explosive movements like jumping (a.k.a. plyometrics) could help keep nerves from tiring and causing those cramps.
  • Warm up and cool down. A full warm-up and cool-down, including stretching, could keep cramps at bay.

The Takeaway: Muscle cramps can quickly put a kink in your workout. Try these tips to prevent them, and read on for ways to get rid of them once they start.

Boost Muscle Recovery

Chug some chocolate milk to help muscles recover from a tiring workout. Keep reading for 17 more ways to recover faster.

Fun Fact

It’s hard to deem one muscle in the body the strongest since there are so many ways to gauge strength, but the muscles around the eyes are unsung heroes. They make nearly 10,000 movements in one hour of reading.